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What to do in those first few days after an accident

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Schlachter- Pursuit Physiotherapy

So you hit a deer, or a car hit you, or you slid into a pole.  You may have whiplash.  This article is for those people who have been seen in the ER and sent home with a diagnosis of whiplash, or feel that aren’t hurt bad enough to warrant an Emergency Room visit.  If you are at all concerned about your symptoms, please see your doctor. This article is speaking about the muscle and soft tissue injuries that can occur with whiplash.  These are some tips you can use immediately after the injury.

It is best you see a physiotherapist for treatment, but these are some things to

start with until your appointment.

During a collision, your head is moved suddenly on your neck.  The muscles, ligaments, and soft tissues in your neck are not prepared for these sudden movements, and can get overstretched, or strained and sprained.  Like all acute injuries there will be inflammation and pain, and a risk of re-injury for the first 3-10 days.  So for these early days, you might have to modify your job task or hours, rest your neck, avoid lifting, avoid leaning over where your neck muscles have to support your head-your head and brain weigh approximately 11 pounds.  This first time frame is all about resting your neck ligaments and muscles.

Resting your neck for the first few days is very helpful to healing.  I suggest after you have been up and about-possibly to work, or doing home chores, to lie flat on your back with ice under your neck for 10 minutes. This means usually with one pillow only-you shouldn’t feel “propped up on pillows”. That position actually pushes your head and neck forward-more overstretching.   Just a reminder that our body doesn’t stay strong if we rest too much, so keep this limited to the first few days.

There are often things we do that we don’t realize can cause strain to your neck.

  • Carrying anything over about 7 lbs will cause strain to the neck muscles.  Choose carefully what you carry, and whatever you do have to carry, use 2 hands and keep it close to your chest.  If you carry bags in one hand for example, that bag is pulling down on those muscles that have been already overstretched.
  • Be aware of how you are sitting both at work, and while driving.  During both activities we are concentrating, and often leaning forward.  You might have to adjust your seat to have more back support, and head support.
  • After a shower, wearing a damp towel on your wet hair adds weight to your head that your neck muscles aren’t up to supporting.  Or vigorously shaking your head to style and dry your hair is too aggressive for the neck.
  • Changing the laundry can be a challenge for the neck-either pulling wet, heavy jeans out of a washer, to looking into that front loading washer  to make sure you got all the socks.  You may have to ask for help with these tasks or make the loads smaller or get right down on your hands and  knees to look into the washer.
  • Unsupported leaning forward or prolonged looking down makes the neck muscles work hard to hold your head up. Tasks that require this are bathing children in the tub, doing dishes, wiping muddy dog feet, reaching down into the freezer.  Frequently our leisure activities have us looking down for long periods, such as texting and playing games on our devices, reading, sewing, doing puzzles.
  • In Alberta climates, there is snow in the winter.  Those first couple of weeks, I would suggest getting help pushing the grocery cart through the snowy parking lot-when we feel good, we don’t realise the effort moving one of those carts takes and it’s especially worse after a fresh snowfall. Also asking for help with shovelling is a good idea-lots of leaning forward looking down, and lifting with shovelling.

So make sure in those first few days after an accident you rest your neck, and make an appointment to see a physiotherapist.  Our staff at Pursuit Physiotherapy would be happy to help you get back to your normal function,  strength, and comfort level.

Posted by Leanne Schlachter

Pursuit Physiotherapy in Red Deer, promotes balanced, healthy living through dedicated, individualized physical therapy for those in pain, unable to participate fully in their daily activities, wanting to maximize their function for work or sport, and wanting to prevent potential problems.

If it is affecting your quality of life, then we want to help you to optimize your function and minimize your pain.

We are committed to your health and want to encourage you to be too.

Connect to Pursuit Physiotherapy.

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RCMP seeks names of potential victims of coerced sterilization, Lucki says

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OTTAWA — The RCMP is seeking the names of potential victims of coerced sterilization procedures and wants lawyers to help in the process, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said Tuesday.

In testimony before the House of Commons health committee, Lucki said the RCMP is willing to meet with victims, adding it would be helpful if lawyers could talk to complainants about coming forward.

“The lawyers … if they were to speak with those victims and provide them the options of coming to the police, we would absolutely sit down with each and every victim that they had to look at it from a criminal point of view,” she said.

“Obviously they are not going to release their names without their consent as well. But … if we were to have those conversations, and possibly we could convince victims to come forward through the lawyers, that would be one avenue that we could explore.”

MPs asked Lucki to testify as part of a study about ongoing concerns from predominantly Indigenous women who allege they were coerced or forced into tubal ligation procedures during childbirth.

Her testimony also followed a letter sent this spring by NDP health critic Don Davies who asked the RCMP to conduct an investigation of serious and credible allegations that have been brought forward.

Lucki told Davies in a March letter that the force would work with commanding officers in each province and territory as well as other police agencies to see if any complaints have been reported.

“To date, we have no allegations that are on file for forced or coerced sterilization that were found to be reported to the RCMP directly,” Lucki said Tuesday. She said the RCMP takes all criminal allegations very seriously and that the force has reached out to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police to raise awareness.

The issue has been the subject of much public scrutiny, particularly in the past two years.

In 2017, the Saskatchewan Health Region issued a public apology after complaints from Indigenous women, and a proposed class-action lawsuit was launched naming as defendants the Saskatoon Health Authority, the provincial and federal governments, and a handful of medical professionals.

Dr. Judith Bartlett, a Metis physician who co-authored the external review, told the committee on Tuesday that Indigenous women interviewed for the report often felt invisible, profiled and powerless.

She also said she does not believe women will come forward to the RCMP because there is “no safety there for them.” Those interviewed for the report were granted anonymity, she said, noting they often felt much better having been able to express the harm done to them.

Much more research is needed to understand the scope of the problem because any time an individual is asked to make a decision when they’re not in the state of mind to weigh pros and cons constitutes coercion, Bartlett said.

Dr. Jennifer Blake, chief executive of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, told MPs that obtaining consent for tubal ligations at the time of delivery should be avoided at all costs. She also noted that when she first learned of allegations a forced sterilizations, she thought it was in reference to a historical issue.

Last Tuesday, lawyer Alisa Lombard, a partner with the firm Semaganis Worme Lombard, told the health committee she represents a client, referred to as D.D.S., was sterilized without proper and informed consent in December 2018 at a Moose Jaw, Sask., hospital

That same month, the United Nations Committee Against Torture urged Canada to act to address the issue of coerced sterilization, setting a one-year deadline to report back on progress.

In response, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and Jane Philpott, then Indigenous services minister, sent a letter to provinces and territories proposing a working group of officials to discuss the concerns.

Health Canada said Tuesday the group has had “productive discussions” about the scope and purpose of the federal-provincial-territorial plan to “advance cultural safety and humility in the health system.” As a first step, officials decided Health Canada would take the lead on “an environmental scan of cultural safety initiatives and practices across Canada,” the agency said in a statement.

—Follow @kkirkup on Twitter

Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press

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Blair says more gun-control action needed, signals no new steps before election

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OTTAWA — Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair says more must be done to address gun violence, but he’s also signalling that no new measures will be taken before the fall election.

Steps could — and should — be taken to prevent the theft, illegal diversion and cross-border smuggling of handguns, Blair said Tuesday. 

As he entered a cabinet meeting, Blair emphasized the importance of secure storage of firearms to prevent them from being stolen and ending up in the wrong hands.

The government is also open to working with municipalities to allow them to decide exactly where, or even if, firearms can be stored within their boundaries, he said.

However, the parliamentary sitting is expected to conclude shortly and the government is scrambling to tie up loose ends before the summer recess and an election campaign likely to begin in September.  

“Some of this would require regulatory and legislative change,” Blair said. “And I think it’s important not only to do the right thing, but to take the time to do it right.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Blair last August to study the possibility of a ban on handguns and assault-style rifles after a shooting spree in Toronto.

A recently released summary of a federal consultation said Canadians were divided on the idea.

Still, Blair’s office said late last month that no options had been ruled out to clamp down on guns “designed to hunt people” as it weighed new options. Rumours of a federal ban on the popular AR-15 semi-automatic rifle began to circulate.

While Blair reiterated Tuesday there are firearms the government considers “so dangerous that there really is no place in a safe and civil society for them,” he made no firm commitment to ban or buy back such guns from owners.

Blair stressed a need to ensure secure storage, prevent people from buying firearms on behalf of criminals and deter smuggling of weapons into Canada from the United States, which he called “the largest handgun arsenal in the world.”

“There are a number of very effective measures that I believe that we can and must take to create a safer environment.”

Allowing municipalities to enact additional restrictions on handguns would not only be “wholly inadequate,” it would also be inefficient, said Heidi Rathjen, co-ordinator of PolySeSouvient, which wants an overhaul of the gun classification system with the ultimate aim of banning weapons specifically designed to kill people.

“All one has to do is consider the glaring disaster resulting from a patchwork of state and local gun laws south of the border,” she said Tuesday.

“And one has to ask: why would stricter controls on handguns be justified in cities and not in rural areas? It seems more like the Liberals chose not to deal with the highly politicized issue of banning handguns and instead decided to pass the buck to municipalities.”

The law already requires safe storage of firearms, but there has been a “significant increase” in the theft of large numbers of handguns from homes and retailers, with the guns ending up on the street in the wrong hands, Blair said.

He acknowledged there are responsible handgun owners who obey all the rules. “We may ask them to undertake additional measures to secure their weapons to make sure that they’re not vulnerable to being stolen.”

Public Safety Canada says 24 firearms were stolen from a shop in Prince Albert, Sask., by snipping one cable, raising concerns that the after-hours commercial storage regulations could be insufficient.

Some businesses “may not be fully compliant” with existing regulations, say department notes released through the Access to Information Act. However, chief firearms officers “indicate this is infrequent and businesses come into compliance quickly when non-compliance is identified.”

The RCMP says some businesses go beyond minimum requirements through measures including shatterproof glass in display cases, video-monitoring systems and alarms, safes bolted to the floor, deadbolt locks and solid doors instead of hollow ones for storage rooms.

— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press


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